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Go Behind the Scenes of Bates Motel

The (re)making of a classic set.

Monday, April 01, 2013


A prequel to Hitchcock's Psycho that takes place in the present day, A&E's Bates Motel follows a teenage Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), who comes unhinged as he tries to deal with his domineering mother (Vera Farmiga) while juggling the usual adolescent stressors of first crushes and high-school hierarchy. Though the era is different, the set had to be faithful to the 1960 original for the premise to work. Here's how production designer Mark Freeborn, fresh off the set of Breaking Bad, re-created the iconic motel and the ominous Victorian house just outside of Vancouver.

A Woman's Place
"I think the kitchen is the space I'm most proud of. It's so textural and well-executed by the construction, the scenic department, the set dressers. The way I measure a set in my own terms is to walk in and feel that this is a real house. This is one of the spaces I feel best in."

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